Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Gift That Keeps On Giving The Whole Year

You know the story…it’s Christmas Vacation month here at F.M.S! The final installment:

Cousin Eddie: Clark, that’s the gift that keeps on giving the whole year.
Clark: That it is Edward, that it is.

I hope your Christmas went swell. Mine didn’t involve nearly enough rum though I believe I made up for it by mainlining the box ‘o wine…for three days.* I would like to drift off into an alcohol induced haze somewhere around December 23rd only to wake up on the 27th underneath a pile of bills and my kids shaking products under my nose that require assembly. If only.

Is your Christmas day like mine? Are you forcibly awoken by a bedroom light, which at some point during the night was replaced with a police quality spotlight, beamed on at 6 am by on over eager 9 year old? Are you pulled downstairs to a gift scattered living room and morning calisthenics in the form of gift hurdling and pole vault (hiding)**? Do you weep silently underneath a pained smile as you watch all of these overpriced and unnecessary items unwrapped before your blurry, hung over eyes? Do you “accidentally” kick the dog on the way into the kitchen for more coffee because “someone’s going to be in as much pain as I am goddammit”?

Christmas Day! Welcome to hell. My day usually unfolds as follows:

- 6am: Wake up.
- 6:10: Unwrap presents.
- 7:00: Kick dog
- 7:05: Add a little something to the coffee to dull the edges and restore some holiday spirit.
- 7:10: Start assembling the first gift handed to me by one of my kids.
- 7:12: The first profanity of Christmas screamed over a stripped screw!
- 7:20: Search for batteries.
- 7:30: Second gift handed to me due to “some assembly required”.
- 7:31: Deep breath and another trip into the kitchen for daddy’s “special” coffee.
- 7:35: “Motherf*ckin’ screw won’t line up with the mother*ckin’ hole!”
- 7:37: The search for a 9 volt battery begins. Who uses 9 volts anymore?
- 7:40: The dog hides behind a chair.
- 7:45: I try to fake sleep on a chair but am woken up by another product being jabbed into my ribs that…requires assembly. It’s a big one too.
- 7:50: Screw the coffee. Bring Dad the Jack Daniels bottle. Quickly.
- 7:55: Assembly is not going well. Prison language. I’ve already threatened to “find out where the idiots who wrote these instructions live so I can jam this thing right up their asses.” It’s a Nitmos family tradition.
- 8:10: Fingers cut and bleeding from screw drivers and jagged, plastic toys.
- 8:13: “Where’s the goddamn batteries?”
- 8:20: “Look kids, no hands.” I pick up the Jack Daniels with my jaw and toss it straight up, drinking in big gulps while I clap my hands maniacally and then belch the bottle out on to the floor with whiskey pouring down my chin.
- 8:21: I fall back in the chair. Black out.
- 11:30: Shaken awake. My filly pushes a box that needs assembly into my booze soaked gut. I stare at it groggily looking for the entrance to hell.
- Repeat for the next several hours.

Okay, so maybe I exaggerate but the day seems to proceed somewhere along those lines. Once you become a parent – specifically, a father – Christmas Day becomes about three magical little words: Some Assembly Required. S.A.R. = code for The Gateway to Torment Lies Within. If you’re smart, you’ll learn to avoid these words at all costs.

But I do find time for happier thoughts as well. Sometime between Christmas and New Year’s, I like to take the sore-ribbed dog on an exceptionally long walk so that I can escapereflect on the Year That Was. The last two weeks of every year for me are all about sloth and gluttony. And more sloth, more gluttony…and frosted, sprinkled Christmas cookies. Sometimes I combine the sloth and gluttony by napping on a pile of Christmas cookies. I applaud those of you doing Christmas Ass Buster challenges and other various ‘stay fit’ tricks. Nah, not for me. I try to stay in shape for 50 weeks out of the year. These last two weeks are all mine, baby. If it contains sugar or >5% alcohol, it goes down my gullet. No apologies. No questions asked. No guilt.

During the walk, I reflect on my yearly goals and what is in store for the New Year to come. I think about my physical fitness and how running helps me achieve those goals. I like jelly too but it doesn’t make a nice monthly gift despite what Cousin Eddie says. I’ll stick with my training plans and Gu diet.

Running is the gift that keeps on giving the whole year…starting January 2nd. Until then, hand me the rum, the remote, and a tub of frosting. That's the gift that keeps on giving during the holiday season.

That it is Nitmos, that it is.

Happy trails.

*Mt. Veeder Cabernet was this year’s selection.
**I’m still wearing my boxers which doesn’t go well with morning Mr. Peek-A-Boo. I don’t have a “pole” in the sense that you think I meant.

I don’t buy race photos anymore. I have enough pictures of me with a pained, grimacing face drenched in sweat. So, it was hard to find a photo to select as my official Race Photo for 2010. Here’s a picture before my half marathon PR from September. As usual, Mrs. Nitmos isn’t in the picture as she’s the one holding the camera. One of these times, we’ll ask someone else to take the photo.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas! Shitter Was Full!

You know the story…it’s Christmas Vacation month here at F.M.S!

Ellen: What are you looking at?
Clark: Oh, the silent majesty of a winter's morn... the clean, cool chill of the holiday air... and an asshole in his bathrobe, emptying a chemical toilet into my sewer...
Eddie: Shitter was full!
Clark: Ah, yeah. You checked our shitters, honey?

How could the final pre-Christmas quote be anything other than this?? It’d be criminal!

As this month has shown, there are many things to be learned from Christmas Vacation right down to this foul-mouthed one liner. No, it’s not that Randy Quaid really is crazy. Well, not just that anyhow.


This is a deep and meaningful piece of the C.V. masterpiece. In this scene, Cousin Eddie symbolizes the Everyman…the regular, non-elite struggling in quiet desperation against his own PR goals. Not all of his yearly goals were met. I doubt he drank all of the Meister Brau he had planned. He’s collected a year’s worth of successes and failures (and parole violations) that need to be emptied in order to start fresh next year. In short, his shitter was full. As Lance Armstrong said, ‘it’s not about the poop’ (or something like that). It’s a metaphor for how we carry around the weight of a bad training experience, an injury or a poor race performance. Heck, some of us even carry around low expectations of our own abilities. We internalize and walk around with this baggage until it bogs us down until we can’t move…like if our heads have been sewn to the carpet.

Our shitters are full this time of year. You don’t want to carry that into the New Year so that it keeps hanging around like an unidentified lip fungus.

Grab some Meister Brau, open the spicket, and let a year’s worth of shit drain away. New race schedules will be written! New training plans executed! New PR’s to set…and yes, new disappointments to refill the shitter along the way.

While you’re hanging your stockings, drinking heavily, wrapping presents, drinking heavily and…drinking heavily, don’t forget Cousin Eddie’s sage advice:


Like changing the smoke alarm batteries during Daylight Savings Time, Christmas is that time to check the shitters and reset mentally in preparation for a great 2011. If you learn one thing from the many wondrous, thought-provoking discussions we’ve had here at Feet Meet Street this year I hope it is this comment about shit. At the very least, I hope I brought a little profanity to your blog reading this fine winter day.

Merry Christmas To You and the Family!

Happy trails.

P.S. I’ll be back between Christmas and New Year’s for a final C.V. themed post. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

'Tis The Season To Be Merry

You know the story…it’s Christmas Vacation month here at F.M.S!

Clark: 'Tis the season to be merry.
Mary: That's my name.
Clark: No shit.

It’s pretty amazing that I’ve made it nearly 13 years as a father without (a) the kids being taken to foster care or (b) me being led away with handcuffs over my strict “clean something for food” policy. I’m not saying I’m a bad husband and father, I’m just saying that Mrs. Nitmos and the kids get more sympathy than a partially squashed puppy gasping for air by the side of the road. Despite my best efforts, like flowers growing through a gravel pit, the kids have found a way to thrive anyhow.

But there are still those “some times” when I know a little bit of me has passed along in the genes.

Case in point: My 9 year old filly has the Christmas Crazies right now. And she has a lot of questions. Like any good Dad, I don’t actually answer questions. I remain vague and, if pressed, provide needlessly detailed circular logic that makes her so confused she’s afraid to ask a follow-up. One of the great joys of parenthood is pretending to know it all without actually doing or saying anything of value. You’ve read this blog…you know I’m good at that.

We are hurtling down highway 127 Sunday on our way home from the grandparents with a back end loaded with dirty clothes, a dog, and various dolls and Nerf guns. The radio is rocking holiday favorites by Trans-Siberian Orchestra, The Jackson Five, and Taylor Swift. I’m driving and wondering why I’m listening to a station that plays those songs. Clearly I’ve lost control.

In the middle of “White Christmas”, my daughter asks what Jesus’ last name is. (Ok, so right away you know we are not regular church goers. Don’t judge.) We provide the answer and breakdown the word Christmas for her.

She seems satisfied and looks out the window for a minute. Then, she speaks back up, “So what is God’s last name? Is it Damn?”

I smile proudly. My heart grew three sizes that day. God Bless Us One and All!

This 'tude knocked in 24 goals in 19 competitive league soccer games this fall!

Happy trails.

I see Ian wandered out of the desert (or dessert?) and tore open the shutters and threw up the sash of Half-Fast. And then changed his blog subtitle to include a poop joke. Stay classy! His comeback announcement came complete with references to LL Cool J and Culture Club. I suppose that foretells some upcoming posts about the new fitness fads he discovered called the “hula’ed hoop” and a “flying disc”. Stay current!

Still, this is my second favorite “comeback” of the year. Right behind the Backstreet Boys.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Eat My Road Grit Liver Lips!

You know the story…it’s Christmas Vacation month here at F.M.S!

Clark: Let’s burn some dust here, eat my rubber!
Rusty: Dad, I think what you mean is “burn rubber” and “eat my dust”.
Clark: Whatever Russ, whatever. Eat my road grit Liver Lips!

A Case for Pre-Race Hotdogging

I love taunting a defeated opponent. I think it’s what separates us from the animals. A tiger just makes his kill and then settles in to eat. No prancing. No fingering miming of a pistol shoot-out at the corpse. No head bobbing moonwalk followed by a 180 turn into the splits, finger extended with the universal #1 sign. No wearing the antelope skin around like a robe. Nothing. A big sack of boring. That’s what makes us superior to animals. The day a tiger starts posing for sexy photos on his human skin rug is the day I’ll realize things have changed.

As a non-elite runner, I don’t have many chances to taunt defeated opponents. There’s way too many people that have already finished the race for it to look cool as I trot in backwards across the finish while cupping my hands to my mouth and shouting “C’mon, you can do it…keep on trying. Your effort is very cute.” I mean, I do that but it doesn’t look very cool what with the 100 or so runners already pulling on their sweat suits on the other side of the timing mats. No, it’s much better to get your cocky swagger on before you get to the finish.

Early hotdogger avoids the embarrassment, I always say.

Now some of you may be thinking that if you can’t back it up, why be so arrogant? Some of these runners are fast. Like tiger fast. And, yes, there’s a few elderly and/or sick antelope in the herd too but you can’t always tell which ones (though the fellas holding a CD walkman flat so that the disc won’t skip might be a give away).

It’s during warm-up and the slow corralling of runners before the race begins in which I’m at my cockiest. I strut around like a steroid fueled wrestler launching a verbal assault on the stretching racers:

“What do we have here? The JV? Where’s the varsity meet?”
“I’m still drunk from last night. Someone will need to get my first place trophy for me.”
“The real marathon follows this marathon right? Ok, let’s get the warm-up started.”
“I see one hungry lion and a bunch of antelope with moderate to severe hip dysplasia. ROAR!!”
“It smells like shit A LOT around here. Is this an outhouse convention and you are all the turds?”
“You can’t spell SUCKS without U!”

At this point, the runners probably think I’m all bluster and swagger but they probably don’t know for sure. I count on that. I mean, there is still the chance that I could be the guy who wins right? Usually no one responds before the race begins.

When the gun sounds, I take off fast just to deepen that seed of doubt. I might throw out a few “let’s burn some dust” or “eat my rubber” just to keep them off balance. Of course, eventually many, many folks pass me. Sometimes I get those smart-asses who pass me by with a “not talking tough now are you” comment as I grimace back at them in full mid-race limp and croak “someone get a doctor - I snapped my hamstring.”

Mostly, the runners pass me unnoticed as they’re too busy worrying about themselves and their own effort. I also count on that. By the time we reach the finish and the runners are collecting their medals or congratulating each other or reuniting with friends and family, I can high-step backward trot - on my miraculously healed hamstring - across the finish for one final hotdog to the few I might have beaten.

While the “winners” get their awards and everyone cheers, I quietly slink away. I’m a starting line champ…others can have the finish.

Occasionally, I may be spotted heading out to the parking lot and another smart-ass may sneer “that lion sure looks like an antelope to me.”

I just smile, “Whatever man, whatever.” And then mutter under my breath "Liver lips."

Happy trails.

For more hot Lion-Hunting-Antelope action, check out one of my favorite race recaps. It has blood!

I want to thank those that commented on my previous post for offering their opinion on my opinion about a controversial subject. All comments were welcome but I particularly enjoyed Thomas’ international take:

“As someone who has been self-coached for the last 6 years and recently got the offer of free coaching help, I can assure you that this post is full of shit. *Ever helpful* Love, Thomas”

I know Thomas is Irish so I had a difficult time interpreting due to the language barrier. I believe, if I’ve correctly translated, he was deploying an old Irish proverb that loosely translates to:

“Nitmos, once again you’ve hit the nail on the head! How did you get so smart? When will you be in Ireland so we can throw a party in your honor?”

I blush.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

So Do Washing Machines

You know the story…it’s Christmas Vacation month here at F.M.S!

Frances: Talk about pissing your money away. I hope you kids see what a silly waste of resources this was.
Audrey Griswold: He worked really hard, Grandma.
Art: So do washing machines.

There is nothing more deflating than putting in the time and effort of training for the big race only to come up short of your goal on the race day. If you run and race long enough, you’ll experience both the thrill of PR’s and the disappointment of poor race performances. It’s part of being a self-taught, coach-less athlete. Races are mirrors that reflect back your preparation, strategy, and training. You may not like what you see but - and this is the important part - YOU own it.

When you plan smart, train hard, and execute on race day, there is no one to thank (besides your spouse and support crew – do NOT forget that) but yourself. You did the research. You put together the plan. You did the training. Finally, you ran the race. To me, this is the ultimate thrill. It’s me against the watch. Man vs. Machine. Or Man vs. Self? Someone call a philosopher.

If you’ve visited this corner of the internets before, you are familiar with my anti-coach diatribes for the amateur athlete. The number one reason I promote self-coaching is because of the feeling I get when I cross the finish line. When I look at that clock and realize that I just blew the doors off a PR, I’m overwhelmed with pride, happiness, and a deep feeling of accomplishment. My plan worked. I did this. Likewise, if the race doesn’t go to plan, who’s to blame? Well, the kids for one. And maybe that guy over there. And the snow and rain. And who measured this course? But deep inside, I know it’s all me. Something didn’t work with my training and preparation. There’s no one with which to transfer my success or blame. If I don’t like the post-race reflection, I need to analyze the image presented to find the flaws.

I think you earn a deeper, more meaningful appreciation of your self and the sport when you coach yourself. Now, I have nothing against those wanting to take the short cut by hiring a coach. That’s fine. Everyone chooses their own path. Certainly, competitive, semi-pro or pro runners would be expected to have a professional coach. But for the weekend warrior runner – the equivalent of the pick-up hoops guy or softball guy – why would you bypass the true joy found in the sport of running? I’ve learned more about myself through the trial-and-error process of preparing for races than I have through any other activity. It’s not about the miles; it’s about the journey of finding your own way.

Sure, like an old washing machine, I might clunk around for awhile working out the kinks in a training plan. I consult books, magazines, blogs, and fellow runners for tips. There’s a wealth of free information available to you at your fingertips. I follow the simple maxim “Listen to everyone; follow no one.” Sometimes I open the washing machine lid and the clothes are still full of soap. Sometimes the colors stained. And sometimes I left gum in my pocket.

It’s not enough to train hard. You must also train smart. Make adjustments. Check the mirror. Listen to your Inner Art but don’t let him have the last word. If you’ve hired a coach for some reason, listen to your Outer Art, in that case. But, please, don’t let the Outer Art rob you of your personal journey to your running goal.

Because sometimes the clothes come out of the old washing machine crisp and clean and perfect. And the only person to congratulate is the one staring at you in the mirror. That’s when you feel a deeper level of satisfaction!

Happy trails.

Sorry for the mixed metaphors of washing machines and mirrors. I couldn’t decide which so I said ‘why not go with both? They’ll never notice.’ And you didn't, did you?!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

The Little Lights Aren't Twinkling

I’ve decided to devote the remaining post titles in December to one of my favorite dysfunctional holiday movies of all time: Christmas Vacation. It’s the third in a 4 part odyssey of the Griswold family. The first one, Vacation, was okay. The second one, European Vacation, was a disappointment. And the final one, Vegas Vacation, was an abomination. But tucked in the middle of this supremely forgettable series was a little gem of a Christmas movie. It’d be like if Harold and Kumar made Harold and Kumar Go To The Hurt Locker right in the middle of their other two crappy films.

Of course, one of the main reasons I like it is because it’s ridiculous. I’m ridiculous. And I’m pretty sure you’re ridiculous too.* Besides, like The Godfather, there are life lessons abound sprinkled through-out the film. You learn how to fix a newel post, how to quickly replace a damaged Christmas tree, and the dangers of a plastic plate – instead of a metal one - in your head.

Mrs. Nitmos and I (and now the kids) quote from it all year ‘round. If I start complaining about some minor detail of something or other – which I often do – either the kids or Mrs. Nitmos are apt to say “the little lights aren’t twinkling** which is our code for reminding me that everything is okay and stop focusing on the one little hair out of place.

This is a good lesson to apply to running as well. I often come home from my track 800 intervals annoyed because one of the six 800’s fell outside of my goal range. And by “outside” I mean by no more than 1-2 seconds. Never mind that I exceeded my goal on several of the other intervals…and that my overall pace was right on target…and that I looked extremely handsome accomplishing all this. The one damn 800 ruined the whole bunch (except the handsome part).

The little lights aren’t twinkling.

I’ve done the same in marathons. Twenty-five miles went pretty much to expectation but CURSE THAT WALKING BREAK IN MILE 23. ARGGGHHH!!!

The little lights aren’t twinkling.

I’ve seen it around on various blogs as well. It was my first marathon…I came up 5 minutes short of my goal. –or- I set a PR in the 15k but my bloody nipple ruined my favorite white shirt. – or- Angelina Jolie is pretty but she smells of orphan.***

The little lights aren’t twinkling.

This holiday season, let’s all take advice from the modern philosopher’s known as the Griswolds.

Forget about the 2 seconds you missed for your 800 interval. Never mind the rose blossom on your PR soaked shirt. So what if Angelina smells of orphan – they make perfume. And who cares if Cousin Eddie is bat shit crazy in real life? Look at the big picture.

The next time you notice some minor detail is out of place, one little mile of a training run is out of whack compared to an otherwise perfectly paced run, heck, even one whole run stunk amongst a training log of good ones, don’t let your Inner Art get you down.

Art: The little lights aren’t twinkling.
Clark: I know Art. And thanks for noticing.

Happy trails.

* Otherwise why would you continue to return here?
** After an exasperated Clark finally lights the outdoor Christmas lights, Clark’s father-in-law Art points out to him that some of the little lights aren’t twinkling as they should while ignoring the grandeur of the illuminated home.
*** I don’t just read running blogs you know.

I’m sorry but there simply was not enough of a creative response about what kind of abuse you would like to heap onto a treadmill in the last post. Your punishment? No post about bears and farting. Hey, you called out the bull, take the horns…

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Dead Mill

Several readers recently pointed out that my posts lately seem soaked in testosterone and burped onto the blog with a chest thumping primal growl. Let’s review….I see arm wrestling, beards, erect nipples, ninjas, and Stallone all in the last three posts. I don’t know what you are talking about. I never mentioned bears or farts once.

But I’m all about appeasement here so I’ll fore go today’s planned post about ‘things you can power drill after drinking a six pack’ and instead go with a topic near and dear to all of our hearts: treadmills.

You’ve all heard the nicknames: dreadmills, rubber band of doom, treadkills, etc. You name it…there’s a million derogatory nicknames out there for them. No one likes them but sometimes they are our only choice when you need to get a run in. It’s kinda like George Lopez on Lopez Tonight. You might want to see his guest but you really don’t want to watch George Lopez – who does? – so you weigh the pros and cons of guest vs. host on the scale of tolerance. ‘I really want to see Carrot Top so I guess I’ll deal with George Lopez.’ This is the same as thinking: ‘I really want to run so I guess I’ll deal with the treadmill.’

I try to keep my yearly tally of treadmill activity countable on one hand. Anything 5 miles and under can be done outside no matter the weather conditions. If I’m going to be out in a thunderstorm or blizzard for more than 45 minutes, well, I’ll consider the mill (if I can’t just postpone a day and go outside the next after the inclement weather passes). Last winter, I actually completed a 15 miler and two 18 milers on the mill. True story. It’s not so hard once you convince yourself that suicide is your only other option. And by mile 10 on a treadmill, to be honest, suicide starts becoming more attractive. Sisyphus? What a wimp. At least by pushing that boulder, he had a goal…a destination.

I haven’t been on the mill since last January but I know my millless days streak is numbered. The 20 degree days and harsh blowing winds are causing my Christmas lights to rattle ominously against my siding as I type. That could be me out there! That could be my teeth chattering. That could be my nuts internalizing. Hell, that will be me out there in a few short hours. I’ll be freezing my nuts off and my nuts are more of the lover-type than a fighter.

There are two truths I know to be, er, true. (1) Running is fun. (2) Treadmills should be tossed in the ocean.

Imagine my surprise when someone decided to sponsor this blog by expressing these two truths. Look, here’s photo evidence (and link on the sidebar):

The site of a drowned treadmill warms my Dimple Twins. That’s exactly where a treadmill should be – under water. Treadmill abuse, so far at least, goes unregulated. What do you call a thousand treadmills under water? A good start.

To be fair, the treadmills in the above photo are designed to be used under water and come in handy for rehab activities as well as low-impact cardiovascular training. I’m sure there’s a lot of merit to their use in this manner.

For me, it’s merely treadmill porn. I look at that picture and think “that’s great but can’t we push it deeper under water?” with an evil cackle. Maybe I’m the John Wayne Gacy of treadmills? I’m not saying treadmills should suffer but could we at least rip some of the wiring apart and slice up the mill itself a bit before submerging it. Let a fella have a little fun first, right?!

Of course, on the few occasions when I need one, I hope the gym will have a newly oiled and dry one ready for my use. Afterwards, they can chuck it in the pool for all I care.

Happy trails.

What would YOU like to see done to a treadmill?

If I think someone has really thought outside of the box and come up with something really clever, maybe I will post about bears and farting. It's in your hands, people.

See? This post was less man-driven. I only referenced a six pack of beer, my nuts, and a serial killer.

What? No one going to congratulate me on reaching 400 posts with my last posting? If you aren’t keeping track…who is? Selfish.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Where Did Arm Wrestling Go?

This is another in my landmark nostalgic series about things we have lost in this country over time. The U.S. of A. may have forgotten them but good ole Nitmos hasn’t. See also: Devil’s Night.

I love confrontation. I love competition. I love alcohol-fueled barroom bravado by testosterone pumped muscle heads. These things make me the perfect target audience for the great lost sport: Arm wrestling.

2 arms + 1 tabletop + 1 macho dispute = 1 terrific arm wrestling match.

Fuck calculus. That right there is the world’s greatest equation.

Stallone made a whole movie about arm wrestling! Look at the poster. Is there anything that says “America: Fuck Yeah!” more than that?!

I see a strong man (never mind the awkward arm snuggie)! I see an 18 wheeler! I see lots of rigid, masculine, angular font! And is that a hawk? Damn right it is! Stallone’s character is named ‘Lincoln Hawk’. I guess Eagle Washington was too ‘over the top’. (So, it’s missing a fifth of Jack Daniels and a bikini-clad chick. You can’t have everything.)

OK, so Over The Top was a shallow, plotless rip off of the everyman-overcomes-odds-to-win crowd-pleaser Stallone made famous in the Rocky series. But here’s something it had that Rocky didn’t have: Arm wrestling. (Really? I had to tell you this?)

1 movie + arm wrestling + semi trucks + 1 Stallone = The Best Arm Wrestling move of 1987!

Fuck Pythagoras and his theorem. That right there is the world’s second greatest equation.

There’s something to be said for settling disputes concisely and instantaneously man-a-mano style. If someone cuts you off while driving, you flip them off then motion to the side of the road. Hop out, arm wrestle, go about your day. * Your work colleague tells the boss that the project failed due to your incessant lifting of hand weights. You confront him, find a table, and get to the bottom of things.

Really, it’s the perfect solution to almost all of life’s troubles. Ask yourself: What couldn’t I solve with a simple arm wrestling match? It’s why I recommend this solution to all my friends and family and you should too. The only thing required is a tabletop and they’re readily available. You supply the arms and dispute.

I mean, look how much fun these guys are having settling their issue. You wouldn’t know it…but the guy on the right with the awesome beard killed the other guy’s dog for fun. In a few short seconds, it’ll all be behind them.

Whenever an issue comes up with Mrs. Nitmos, we settle it the old fashioned way: by drinking a lot of whiskey and then arm wrestling, just like our forefathers. Sometimes we even turn it into leg wrestling. But I don’t recommend leg wrestling with strangers. It gets…weird.

I hope you’ll do your part to bring arm wrestling back to the fore of America’s – heck, the WORLD’S – collective consciousness. If not, I’ll be sitting at a local bar drinking whiskey, with an empty chair, and waiting for you behind my perfectly level tabletop. Bring the arm. Call for directions.

Happy trails.

*I realize this would require a bunch of tables to be erected at intersections all across America. Doesn’t this partially solve the jobless problem in this country? Well worth it.

I’ve made my first 2011 selection. It’s a spring lady. The 2011 Bayshore Half Marathon goes on the board. Bayshore is a familiar race for me you long time F.M.S.ers will notice. This will complete my Bayshore races medal collection and, if all goes as it should, qualify me for auto-entry into NY 2012.